Sunday, September 26, 2010
In 1979, the artist collective Group Material opened a storefront at East 13th Street on New York's Lower East Side, from which they launched exhibitions that radically overhauled curatorial thought, setting art alongside artifacts, documentary material and store bought objects, within exhibitions that were oriented around topical social concerns. Group Material's original members — Julie Ault, Patrick Brennan, Beth Jaker, Mundy McLaughlin, Marybeth Nelson, Tim Rollins and Peter Szypula — came from backgrounds in feminism, Marxist theory, design and popular culture, and curated classic exhibits reflecting this eclecticism, such as It's a Gender Show, AIDS Timeline and The People's Choice—a collection of everyday objects (wedding photos, dolls, even a cigarette-pack collage) gathered from people living on their block.
Show & Tell is the first monograph on Group Material, and charts the group's activities, with essays by original members, plus original documents, photographs, drawings, correspondence and interviews. Organized by former group members in keeping with the methods and aims Group Material employed, the book charts the origins, processes, developments, projects and contexts of the group’s activities, and draws heavily from Group Material’s archive, including original documents, photographs, drawings, correspondence, artifacts, anecdotal information and texts.
Group Material created 45 projects during its period of activities (1979-1996), each represented through installation photography and information from original proposals, exhibition statements, press releases, responses, etc. One emblematic exhibition project, AIDS Timeline, is examined in detail from collected material and newly conducted interviews.
Behind the Timeline: Collected Histories has accounts by Mike Glier, Richard Meyer, Nayland Blake, Stevan Evans, Tom Kalin, Robert Buck, Larry Rinder, Sharon Siskin, John Lindell, Glen Helfand, Edd Russo, Andrea Miller-Keller, and Patrick O’Connell.
Essays by Doug Ashford, Julie Ault, Sabrina Locks and Tim Rollins further illuminate the methods and principles of Group Material’s practice.
8.5 x 11 in. / 272 pgs / illust: c. 200 color / 50 b&w